Archive for the ‘An n’ Pale’ Category

Archive: An n’ Pale | Cafe Conversation with Elle Philippe


“I work a full-time job and have a family to take care of; I just don’t have the time.”

“Working 40 hours a week plus college work- it’s a miracle I eat at all!”

“Why cook when I can heat this up in 5 minutes?!”


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Archive: An n’ Pale with journalist & author Jonathan M. Katz



Photo Credit: Michèle Voltaire Marcelin

On April 4 at FiveMyles Gallery, moderator Jocelyn McCalla prefaced the conversation by insisting to the audience that they ask tough questions. In the true spirit of An n’ Pale, the audience prepared for a discussion that would bring up a lot of hot button issues that confront Haitians. The night’s discussion with AP journalist & author Jonathan M. Katz focused around his new book The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster. The book juggles a chronicle of the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and a critique of foreign aid in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. Katz described the context of Haiti in the journalistic world climate, his experience during and post-earthquake, and responded to how the “voice” of aid groups often drowns out the actual needs of the people.

-Kassandra Khalil, HCX Program Coordinator

An n’ Pale |Café Conversation with Katz took place on April, 4th, 2013 at FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn. 

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April 18: “Haiti from Below” book talk & signing with Nathalie Brunet and Régine Zamor


Join HCX for a special book talk and signing for Haiti from Below, a book that captures the colorful underwater life along the northern coast of Haiti in over 100 stunning photos.

Haiti from Below by Nathalie Brunet and Nick Hobgood is the first public awareness tool created by Ayiti Nexus. This project celebrates the beauty and diversity of the marine life in Haiti. Its goal is to educate, attract positive attention on Haiti and inspire transformative behaviors.

Ayiti Nexus is a consulting firm with offices in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, offering strategic development services to an array of clients who are conscious of promoting sustainable development in Haiti.

About our guests

Nathalie Brunet is a co-owner of Ayiti Nexus and author of Haiti from Below. She first developed an interest in nature conservation while studying environmental chemistry at university. Since then, she has worked in public relations and as a communications specialist for development projects implemented in different parts of Haiti.  In 2009, her professional duties led her to cover activities on the north and west coasts focused on introducing agricultural producers to environmentally sustainable practices. She became conscious of the correlation between food insecurity, the lack of education and the negative impact on Haiti’s marine environment.

Régine Zamor is a media producer, writer and development professional, and co-owner of Ayiti Nexus. Régine has worked extensively in development projects, community outreach and bilateral partnerships targeting the north of Haiti. Since relocating to Haiti in 2010 Régine has integrated her community work background into donor funded development programs and has forged partnerships with government institutions, private and public institutions, and community based organizations.

Unable to join our conversation is Nick Hobgood, the featured photographer in Haiti from Below. His experience shooting marine life began during a 6 year long USAID tour in East Timor where Hobgood was re-acquainted with diving and the subjects he learned pursuing his Masters Degree in Oceanography. Following his work in Southeast Asia, Hobgood began work at an environmental project in Haiti where he was able to continue his discovery of the seas and pursue his love of underwater photography. The pictures in the book were taken between 2007 and 2010 while Nick lived in the Cap Haitien area.

Haiti from Below will be on sale at this event for $50.
20% of proceeds from these sales will be donated to Haiti Cultural Exchange.

DATE/TIME: Thursday, April 18th, 2013 / 6-9pm. Discussion will begin at 7pm.
Light Refreshments will be served.
LOCATION: FiveMyles Gallery, 558 St Johns Place Brooklyn, NY 11238  Google Map
Take the  2, 3, 4, or 5 to Franklin Ave.
ADMISSION: Free. $10 suggested donation.
Seating is limited, please RSVP to

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Archive: An n’ Pale with Photographer Marc Baptiste


Photo Credit: Jocelyn McCalla

On March 22nd Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) was pleased to have an An n’ Pale session with legendary photographer, Marc Baptiste, at Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn.

The lively conversation was moderated by HCX’s Executive Director, Régine M. Roumain in front of an audience of over 100 people. Although Baptiste has photographed some of the world’s biggest stars including Jada Pinkett Smith, Idris Elba and President Obama, it is his love for Haiti that stole the show.

“I’m interested in beauty. I’m about uplifting my people…I leave it to CNN to show the blood and the gore…the world promised a lot of things and most of them didn’t deliver anything,” Baptiste pronounced when discussing his work in Haiti. He has not only dedicated himself to being a premier photographer, but also a man who is determined to see his homeland make great improvements. And while the rest of the world has failed to deliver much hope to Haiti, Baptiste is pushing full steam ahead to better his country and the way others view it. When questioned about the projects he’s involved with, Baptiste runs through an impressive list of works including KORE Kapòt – a public campaign to promote condom use among Haitian youth, “Bigger Than You” – a film focusing on surfing in Haiti, and a photography book titled “Cherie Haiti”.

Marc Baptiste chalked up his success to continually learning more about his craft. “You have to push yourself to learn,” he says. “If you truly love photography you have to do the work. I’m still learning. Nothing comes easy.” This was part of the advice he gave to young photographers, especially with the technology boom that’s currently raging. In response to a question posed by Roumain regarding how digital photography has changed his field, Baptiste replied, “Digital is here forever, but it’s still about good photography. It’s still about timing, framing, lighting…only the strong survive.” He also advised new photographers to find mentors in the field; people whom they can learn and grow from. He listed Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon as two of his most cherished and respected mentors.

Following the conversation was a slideshow depicting shots of Baptiste’s work. His subjects included celebrities like Garcelle Beauvais and Chrisitina Milian, but also contained his works in Haiti. Two memorable photographs were those of foreigners working and living in Haiti. One was a doctor by the name of Alison Thompson, who has been living and working in the country since the earthquake. Baptiste noted that Thompson sleeps in the tents with her patients, and has worked tirelessly to give them the best medical care possible. Benjamin, the other American worker, was a young man from Middle America who created a shoe line exclusively for young Haitian children who are in need.

The event closed with a question and answer session between the audience and Baptiste. The moment allowed for Baptiste to have a special meeting with one of his biggest admirers – a woman from Honduras who currently works in media. After professing her admiration for him and his work, this fan asked him when he realized that his work was a representation of not just him, but those of his race who work in the same field. Baptiste replied that it was on a flight back from Paris that he realized that his work stood as a testament to something larger than himself. He stated, “…it’s bigger than me. Where there is light, there is hope. I want to be that light, I want to be that hope to empower women and to empower people.”

Behind every legend is a student, someone who can take up the reigns and continue where their teacher has left off. Marc Baptiste doesn’t hope to leave just one prodigy behind, but many. He is currently the Chair of the photography program at the Cine Institute in Haiti. Though he calls this project a “work in progress,” it is certain that it will leave a great mark on the country, allowing for Haitian youth to show Haiti to the world through their eyes.

I attended the event hoping to get an insider’s view on the glamorous life of the Fashion industry, and ended up leaving inspired to continue supporting Haiti’s growth. Marc Baptiste’s most prized works are the ones that allow Haiti to shine in her own way. In his work, the viewer is able to find great beauty in the ordinary things that make up Ayiti. The landscape, the people – everything becomes extraordinary through his lens. It is with this unique eye and perspective that Marc Baptiste has been able to not only climb to the top of his profession but to also let a country that was once known as the Pearl of the Caribbean shine once again.

By Valerie Jean-Charles


To view Marc Baptiste’s work, visit his official website at



    This An n’ Pale | Café Conversation was sponsored, in part, by Prestige Beer.

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